North to Alaska: Take Two!

It was raining in Houston. The smell of wet pavement and warm humidity clogged the walkway to my seven hour Continental flight to Anchorage. Excited Texans bound for cruises and students bound for summer adventures in the wilderness pressed in around me and my duffel bag, talking animatedly. I glanced at my watch. So far I was only enduring a one hour time difference from the east coast, but I knew it was about to get worse.

But what was another seven hours flying (in addition to the three and a half it took me to get from Baltimore to Houston, and the other one it took for me to get from where I live in northern Virginia to Baltimore’s airport – oy vey!) when Alaska was waiting at the end of the ride? There were tiny fish in lakes waiting to be captured! Mountains waiting to be photographed! Moose waiting to walk across the road in front of me! And getting one more taste of the boysenberry ice cream at Little Millers on the side of the Parks Highway was pretty good incentive too.

My first sight of Denali in June 2008. That’s definitely worth coming back for.

When I got off the plane in Anchorage, I was greeted by the familiar sight of stuffed bighorn sheep and grizzly bears mounted on the walls of the north terminal. Ah. Alaska. Lauren pulled up in our rented Subaru Forester at almost the same moment I yanked my giant suitcase off the baggage carousel. Perfect, almost karmic timing. As usual. (Lauren is the best.) A few minutes later and we were cruising through Anchorage. I relaxed into the passenger seat and drank in the mountainous horizon and the hazy not-quite-twilight of nine o’clock at night in south central Alaska.

My second Stickleback Summer. I have no doubts it will be as good as the first.